Dorset Adventure Park might not be open all year long but that doesn’t mean that Dorset is short of adventures to be had.
The post Christmas slump in January when the days are dark, cold and stormy can feel like a million miles away from the bright, bouncing days of summer. With six months between now and the return of Dorset Adventure Park, it feels like a good time to look around and see what other types of activities, explorations and adventures are happening in Dorset in the meantime. They might not have inflatable obstacle courses, a floating trampoline or an epic mud trail for you to concur, but luckily for us Dorset is a vast, varied and outstandingly beautiful place to explore. Discover what you can do in Dorset to entertain your family, yourselves and your friends this winter and spring until the summer really sets in and you can visit Dorset Adventure Park once more.
Not all the fun of Christmas will be swept away by twelfth night. Infact, Cool Coast Ice Rink in Bournemouth is open seven days a week until the 18th of February. The largest ice rink in the South West remains a great activity for friends and family throughout the first month of the new year.
Go behind the scenes with the Collections Team at the Dorset Museum and Art Gallery, for an exclusive Collections Discovery Tour on the 24th of January. Available only ever to a small group at a time, these tours offer a unique and fascinating insight into their state-of-the-art collections and curation process.
Open from the 11th of January until the 25th of February, ILLUMINATE at The Blue Pool promises to be a spectacular illumination and musical experience for all the family. Forming part of the ancient Furzebrook Estate in Wareham, ILLUMINATE offers many a light to brighten the dark nights ahead.
Discover drifts of snowdrops in Dorset throughout February and enjoy the Shaftesbury snowdrop Festival from the 10th-18th of February.
Watch for Dolphins for Wildlife Trust’s Sea Watch on Thursday the 8th of February at Portland Bill. Take an active role in looking after the spectacular coast and wildlife of Dorset by spotting dolphins and marine life for the sea watch survey.
Go stargazing under the Dorset milky way with the Wessex Astronomical Society at the Durlston Country Park and National Park Learning Centre, on Saturday the 3rd of February.
Do good this Spring and join the Sopley Common Work Party from 10:00am – 12:30pm, on Sunday the 3rd of March. Be part of the volunteers who get together help to tend the landscape.
Alternatively, take part or simply sample the Weymouth Comic Con and Gaming Spring Festival on the 29th-30th of March. There will be plenty to entertain and explore from these worlds of wonder.
The biannual Swanage Blues Festival will be returning on the 29th of February until the 3rd of March. The festival will host over 30 acts across 15 venues around Swanage and Purbeck.
The joys of Spring will be in full swing with the Easter Bouncy Castle Kingdom in Weymouth from the 12th-14th of April.
For a different taste of Spring, the Bournemouth Writing Festival will take place on 26th, 27th and 28th April. With a range of events, talks and opportunities to meet agents, this is one not to be missed for anyone interested in the arts.
For nature enthusiasts there will be the Dorset Spring Show on the 27th and 28th of April. Full of bloom this will be a brilliant taste of outdoors in Spring.
For Thomas Hardy fans and literary lovers in Dorchester there is a book launch of, ‘Hardy Women’ by Paula Byrne. The event on the evening of Thursday the 9th of May is free but booking is required.
On Saturday the 18th of May in Dorchester there will be a brilliant workshop on How To Start A Nature Journal.
Saturday the 18th of May also marks the date that Dorset Adventure Park reopens every weekend until the 8th of September! You know that summer is just around the corner when Dorset Adventure Park opens up once more.
Lyme Regis Fossil Festival returns on the 8th & 9th of June. This event is for fossil enthusiasts of all ages to explore workshops, activities, exhibitions, talks, guided walks and much more.
On Wednesday the 19th of June, the Wildlife Trust is running a day course on Beaver Ecology and Field Signs as part of the Dorset Wildlife Trust Beaver Project. With the chance to better understand and catch a glimpse of these rare and elusive creatures, this is a hot-ticket event with the previous two already sold out.
Go back to basics with traditional heritage tools or simply live out your Poldark fantasy and learn to scythe with a meadow management day course on Friday the 28th of June!
Swanage has already started the countdown until the Swanage Festival returns on the 27th of July and runs until the 3rd of August. The 8 day festival not only holds a huge array of events for all ages but raises thousands of pounds for the chosen charities and causes. The 2023 festival raised a spectacular £27,650 that was donated to charities.
Camp Bestival also returns this year to Lulworth Cove, Dorset on the 25th-28th of July. Described as, ‘the Uk’s original and most successful family festival’, Bestival certainly has been designed by families with their experiences in mind. The lineup is yet to be announced but the weekend promises lots of actionpacked activities and fun festival adventures for all the family.
Dorset Adventure Park will reopen and be available 7 days a week during the school holidays. The majority of schools across the UK and in Dorset begin their 6 week summer holiday on Wednesday the 24th of July. Dorset Adventure Park will be open from day one of the holidays, ready to start your summer with the best adventure yet.
Words by Olivia Lowry